Mitigation is the reduction or elimination of potential risk to life and/or property. Mitigation is a cost-effective way to avoid future damage from disasters, such as flooding or high winds. Typical residential mitigation projects include:
- Structure Acquisition & Demolition (Buyout)
- Structure Elevation
- Structure Wind Retrofit
There are three federal mitigation grant programs and one state mitigation grant program that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) administers under which residential projects are eligible. Each of these programs are cost-reimbursement grants and may have a cost-share requirement. This means that a property owner would be responsible for paying 100 percent of the costs up front and as approved project work is completed and proper documentation is submitted, the property owner would be reimbursed based upon the cost-share of the program. Below is an overview of each program.
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP)
This program is federally funded and becomes available after a major disaster declaration. It is a cost-reimbursement grant and has a cost-share requirement of 75 percent federal and 25 percent non-federal. This means that a property owner would be responsible for paying 100 percent of the costs up front and as approved project work is completed and proper documentation is submitted, the property owner would be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the total projects cost.
Grants are available to reimburse damage from Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole. The application deadline for Hurricane Ian damages is August 29, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). The application deadline for Hurricane Ian damages is October 20, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). Visit the mitigation website for more information on how to apply. For additional questions or concerns, please call the Mitigation Hotline at 850.759.3574.
Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA)
This program is federally funded and appropriated funding annually. Under this program, the residential property must have a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood policy. The cost-share varies based on the number of flood claims for the property:
- If the property is a severe repetitive loss (SRL) property, the cost share is 100 percent federal
- If the property is a repetitive loss (RL) property, the cost share is 90 percent federal and 10 percent non-federal
- If the property is not an SRL or RL property, the cost share is 75 percent federal and 25 percent non-federal
The definitions of SRL and RL properties are explained at the flood mitigation website here. For more information about Flood Mitigation Assistance, visit the dedicated website.
Hurricane Loss Mitigation Program (HLMP)
This program is funded annually by the Florida Catastrophe Fund and can fund mitigation activities on residential structures, such as wind retrofits and flood mitigation. Eligible applicants are local governments or non-profits. If a local government or non-profit is interested in applying for their community, individuals would coordinate directly with the local community or non-profit. This program is 100 percent state funded and there is no local cost-share requirement. For more information on this program, visit the dedicated Hurricane Loss Mitigation Program here.
Safe Room Projects
There is one federal mitigation grant program that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) administers under which residential safe room projects are eligible. For this program, project work cannot begin until the project has been reviewed, approved, and a contract has been executed. Should any work begin before an executed contract, FEMA will not proceed with approving the project and awarding funding.
Safe rooms can be built into an existing structure or as a separate unit. Any safe room funded with federal dollars forthe purpose of life safety will need to be compliant with FEMA P-361 criteria (can be found at link below). It's important to note this because FEMA distinguishes clearly between shelters and safe rooms. Shelters are designed for housing displaced residents after an incident, while safe rooms are intended for immediate life safety during a high-wind event. For more information on this program, visit the dedicated Safe Room Program website here.
.These grant programs are not emergency recovery or repair programs. For any of these programs, project work cannot begin until the project has been reviewed, approved, and a contract has been executed.
In Florida, each county has a Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) Working Group. These groups are made up of community stakeholders and are responsible for coordinating mitigation within the county, including maintaining the Local Mitigation Strategy plan and a prioritized project list. For each of these programs, a resident cannot directly apply for funding and the local government would have to agree to apply their behalf and (if approved) manage the residential project.
If you are interested in pursuing mitigation grant funding, the next step is to contact your county LMS Working Group to find the mitigation grant point of contact for your jurisdiction (based on the address of the relevant property) and explain what you are interested in doing. That person will be able to tell you if the local government is willing and able to apply for and manage the project. It is within the local government discretion whether or not to take on a residential mitigation project.
For your LMS Working Group contact, email your information to firstname.lastname@example.org